I have a question for the hordes of bleeding-heart Hollywood stars who joined the "Save Tookie" brigade, who bowed their heads in prayer with ex-Crip gangster Snoop Dogg and the Rev. Jesse Jackson and pleaded to protect convicted Death Row murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams, and who lobbied so hard for the government to err on the side of life.
Where are you now?
In Boston, an innocent girl was sentenced to death by the state. Her name is Haleigh Poutre. Last fall, she was hospitalized after her stepfather allegedly burned her and beat her unconscious with a baseball bat. Haleigh was kept alive by a feeding tube and ventilator. Doctors said she was "virtually brain dead." They said she was in a "persistent vegetative state." The medical professionals pronounced her "hopeless."
Less than three weeks after Haleigh's hospitalization, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services was raring to remove Haleigh's feeding and breathing tubes. Even her biological mother (who had been deemed unfit to care for Haleigh and whose former boyfriend was accused of sexually abusing the child) wanted her to be put to death. The only person who wanted Haleigh alive was her stepfather, who will likely be charged with murder if Haleigh dies.
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in favor of killing Haleigh, saying it was "unthinkable" to give the power to make a life-and-death decision to the man accused of putting Haleigh in a coma. Instead, the court did something just as unthinkable: It handed that power over life and death to the same child welfare agency that had failed time and time and time again to protect Haleigh from her abusers in the first place. According to the Boston Herald, a report by her court-appointed guardian showed that the Department of Social Services had received 17 reports of abuse or neglect involving Haleigh in the three years before her adoptive mother and stepfather were charged with pummeling her into a coma.
"State can let beaten girl die," the headlines trumpeted. But there was just one small complication for all of those who, for whatever reason, were in such a rush to "let Haleigh die":
Haleigh is fighting to live.
As state officials prepared to remove Haleigh's life support, the supposedly impossible happened. She began breathing on her own, responding to stimuli and showing signs of emerging from what the medical establishment had deemed her hopeless condition. Everyone had given up on Haleigh -- except Haleigh. ''There has been a change in her condition," announced a DSS spokeswoman, Denise Monteiro. ''The vegetative state may not be a total vegetative state."
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